Andover’s Mecca Bingo is not closing, the firm has confirmed, after rumours on social media suggested the venue was set to shut.

There had been suggestions that the bingo hall, located on Junction Road, was set to close and be converted into accommodation.

Following an enquiry by the Advertiser, the parent company of Mecca Bingo, Rank, confirmed that the site was not being closed and, as with other venues across the UK, will be reopening on May 17.

Mecca Bingo originated in the 1960s as a way of filling dance halls, which were falling out of fashion at the time. The game became popular across the UK, seeing bingo halls spring up across the country, including in Andover. It was bought in the 1990s by Rank, who still own the company to this day.

As with entertainment venues across the UK, Andover’s Mecca Bingo has been closed for significant periods across the past year, and is set to reopen on May 17 following the Prime Minister’s announcement this week.

Safety measures against Covid will still be in place, with games spaced throughout the day in an attempt to reduce crowding at the hall.

Simon Sparrow, general manager at Mecca Bingo Andover, said: “We’re incredibly excited to welcome people back. We’re a friendly face in the community – that’s a really unique part of our brand and heritage – we know and love our customers very much and we’ve very active in the area when it comes to community initiatives.

We’ve really missed being a part of people’s day to day lives so May 17 can’t come soon enough. And this year as it’s our big birthday, we’re coming back in style with more to offer than ever - we’re expecting this to be the year of bingo!”